Create Cooking Challenge Judges Release

Create Cooking Challenge Logo

Judges Banner

Judges Announced For CREATE COOKING CHALLENGE 2017

America’s Top Chefs Help Select the Next Great Video Food Star

BOSTON (January 17, 2017) – Some of America’s most iconic television chefs, including Lidia Bastianich (Lidia’s Kitchen), Sara Moulton, (Sara’s Weeknight Meals), Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster (America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country), Steven Raichlen (Project Smoke), and Kevin Belton (New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton), will serve as final judges for the CREATE COOKING CHALLENGE 2017. The Challenge, which seeks America’s next great cooking star, opens for video entries on February 6, 2017 and closes on February 28.

All of these chefs enjoy popular success on CREATE TV, public television’s most-watched multi-cast channel, with more than 46 million viewers annually. Open to professional and amateur chefs, the CREATE COOKING CHALLENGE final judges will screen user-generated video auditions demonstrating an entrant’s best recipe, tip or project. The panel will judge submissions based on the entrant’s demonstrated culinary knowledge, ability to present ideas succinctly, overall telegenic appeal, uniqueness, and production values. In addition to winning a cash prize and video production equipment, the winner will produce his or her own 10-part video series for

Information on rules and how to apply are available for viewing at

About the Judges:
Emmy Award-winning public television host, cookbook author, and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich has successfully married her two passions in life – family and food. A best-selling author, Lidia has written nine cookbooks and two children’s books. She is also founder and president of Tavola Productions, an entertainment production company, as well as the chef/ owner of six acclaimed restaurants. Together with her son Joe, celebrity chef Mario Batali, and businessman Oscar Farinetti, Lidia opened the New York City location of Eataly in 2010. The artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace has since opened outposts in Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston and Munich.

When Sara Moulton kicked off her fifth season as host of public television’s Sara’s Weeknight Meals in 2015, it was the latest milestone in a storied career that stretches back more than 30 years. A protégée of Julia Child, Sara was the co-founder of the New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, Executive Chef of Gourmet magazine, Food Editor of ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, and the host of several well-loved shows on the Food Network during the channel’s first decade. She is the author of several cookbooks, including Sara Moulton Cooks at Home (2002), Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals (2005) and Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners (2010). Her latest book, Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101: How to Make Everything Taste Better, was named one of the top 31 cookbooks of 2016 by The Washington Post.

Julia Collin Davison is executive editor for the book division of America’s Test Kitchen, co-host of America’s Test Kitchen, and an on-screen test cook for Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. She began working as a test cook for Cook’s Illustrated in 1999 and is responsible for the food and recipe development for all America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks. She holds an A.O.S. degree from the Culinary Institute of America and a B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from SUNY Albany. Before coming to ATK, Julia worked in Albany, the Berkshires, San Francisco, and the Napa Valley at several restaurants, catering companies, schools, and wineries.

Bridget Lancaster is the executive editor for new media, television, and radio at America’s Test Kitchen, co-host of America’s Test Kitchen, and an on-screen test cook for Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen. She joined the Cook’s Illustrated team in 1998 and is an original cast member of both television shows, as well as a co-host for America’s Test Kitchen Radio. Bridget currently serves as the lead instructor for the America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School and helps develop and produce courses for the school. Her earlier career led her to cook in restaurant kitchens in the South and Northeast, concentrating on pastry.

Steven Raichlen is a journalist, TV host and multi-award-winning author, but he may be best known as the man who reinvented barbecue. Raichlen has written 28 books, including the best-selling Barbecue Bible cookbook series. (He also completed his first novel, Island Apart, in 2012.) His Primal Grill, Barbecue University, and Project Smoke TV shows – among the top rated on public television – have helped people all over the world ascend the ladder of grilling enlightenment. He even puts his degree in French literature to use as the host of the French language TV show Le Maitre du Grill, which airs in Quebec. In 2015, Raichlen was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who have “made outstanding and significant contributions to barbecue.” He has won five James Beard Awards and three IACP awards, and his books have been translated into 15 languages.

Self-taught Creole chef Kevin Belton, whose family ancestry is a gumbo of English, French, Native American and African, began cooking under the watchful eye of his mother and grandmother in his native New Orleans. Cooking instruction is second nature for Belton, who has spent the last 20 years teaching at the New Orleans School of Cooking. In addition to the almost 7,000 lessons he has led at the school, Belton has also offered classes and cooking demonstrations throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has been featured on numerous food programs, including Emeril Live, Ready Set Cook, Live Love Lunch, Food Fighters, Taste of America, and Eating in the Bayou. In 1999, he and British celebrity chef Kevin Woodford co-hosted the BBC series Big Kevin, Little Kevin, which aired in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia. The companion cookbook, Big Kevin, Little Kevin-Over 120 Recipes from around Britain and America by TV’s Odd Couple, was published by Ebury Press.

Download images of the judges:

About Create:
For 12 years, Create® has been the premier lifestyle channel featuring public television’s most popular how-to series: cooking, travel, home improvement, gardening and arts & crafts. Create is produced and distributed by American Public Television (APT); WNET, New York; and WGBH, Boston in association with National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and PBS. Create TV is carried by 235 local public television stations nationwide, reaching 85% of USTVHH, and is seen in 21 of the top 25 U.S. television markets. Create's companion website features extensive video, projects, tips, recipes, the Create TV schedule, featured program titles, and hosts.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Walton

Download a .doc version of the Press Release here


Website maintenance alert:
The website will not be available from 4pm to 6pm, ET on July 11, 2011.